Steamboat Springs Hayden School District officials are considering asking voters to change the way Hayden School Board members are elected.
The School Board will discuss the potential changes during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Hayden Secondary Schools cafeteria.
“We’re strongly encouraging the public to be there and participate,” Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes said.
Currently, the School Board is composed of five members who represent a certain district. Those wanting to run for the School Board must live within the district seat for which they are running.
Luppes said School Board members have expressed an interest in redistricting and converting some or all of the School Board positions into at-large seats that would represent everyone within the school district.
Luppes said the change is being considered because sometimes it is hard to find good School Board candidates.
“We usually have a couple of districts where finding an interested candidate is not an issue at all,” Luppes said. “We’ve had some other districts where finding an interested candidate is even a struggle.”
By changing the seats to at-large positions, people could run for the seats regardless of where they live in the school district boundary.
School Board President Brian Hoza said he thinks creating at-large positions would lead to more competitive school board races.
“I think it helps as well to encourage some good debate and input in the process,” Hoza said.
Hoza and Luppes said the changes are being considered now because it is a good time given three of the five positions are up for election in November. The positions up for election are those held by Hoza, Kurt Frentress and Tim Frentress Sr.
All of the School Board candidates serve four-year terms. The seats held by School Board members Vance Fulton and Sharon Nereson are up for election in November 2015. Regardless of any redistricting changes, Luppes said, Fulton and Nereson would be able to serve out their terms.
Luppes said voters would have to approve any redistricting changes. In order to have the changes in place by November, a special election would need to be held, possibly by June. Luppes said that district officials still are exploring options for holding the special election and that he thinks it will cost less than $2,000.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com